It would be too easy to dismiss Genoa entirely without taking a look at some of the sites of historic interest within. This is of course an ancient city with many stories to tell, but it doesn’t matter how long you want to spend here, there is simply no reason to get a car if your plan is to stay locally.
Heading out of Genoa, your attention will naturally point towards world-famous coastal villages like Portofino, which is around a one hour drive from Genoa, or to look towards the French border and the French Riviera behind it. But the chances are, if you are flying into Genoa, you won’t be looking west, since it’s actually far easier to fly into Nice.
Yet the real jewel in the crown that any visitor to this part of the world must see above everything else is the Cinque Terre National Park. This stunning UNESCO world Heritage site spans across 5 villages, yet by far the easiest way to get to and between them is by train. A hire car might get you to a congested car park on the edge of Manarola, but it is of little usage for driving in between the villages. The other option, besides the train and very tourist oriented (and priced accordingly) boat services, is to explore on foot, although walking times between each village can be deceptively(and of course enjoyably) slow.
From the Cinque Terre, it’s natural to continue onwards to Pisa and Florence, and the Cinque Terre is also included in our car hire advice guides for these two cities. Even a destination like Portofino only has limited access by car, although it doesn’t have a station either, so you would have to visit by bus from Rapallo.